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  • Yoko Baum

MISO SOUP 101 : The former part ~ what is "Dashi" soup stock and how to make it ?? ~

Do you like Miso soup? - it's a hearty and healthy Japanese soup -

Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of a Dashi soup stock into which softened miso paste is mixed. You might have eaten Miso soup in your local Japanese restaurant (they are like $5 for one tiny bowl??), and would you like to make them at home? - it's quite easy to make them once you get how to do it!

Miso soup is simply made of 3 components.

*Dashi soup stock

*Miso paste

*Soup ingredients (Tofu, Wakame-seaweed, seasonal vegetables, etc)


So, what exactly is ''Dashi'' soup stock? And how to make it??

Dashi is Japanese soup stock, the base of many Japanese dishes.

~ what ingredients for Dashi ~

*Katsuobushi (bonito flakes)


*Dried sardines

*Dried Shiitake-mushroom

And Dashi usually contains only 1 or 2 ingredients from above.

Today I'll explain how to make Awase-Dashi that uses 2 ingredients which are Katsuobushi(bonito flakes) and Kombu(kelp) and this Dashi is the most commonly used one. Speaking of Dashi, people refer to this Awase-Dashi in general.

Each bonito flakes and Kombu-kelp include an umami element and Dashi can be made from it separately, but when these are combined together, the umami element will double. These are the great things about Awase-Dashi.

*If you're vegetarian or vegan, I have a plant-based Dashi recipe for you!

Just go down to the section "Dried Shiitake and Kombu Dashi" :)

*If you're busy person or just learned how to cook a boiled egg in last week, you don't have to make Dashi from scratch (yes, it's totally fine!). Go down to the section "Life is short, I need a good hack!" :)

*'I am vegan also just a handful of time to cook!' - Don't worry, you also can find a tip in "Life is short, I need a good hack!" section (go down↓:)

Awase-Dashi (bonio flakes and Kombu-kelp stock)

Prep time : 20 mins (Total time : 50 mins)


*4 cups of water

*2 pieces of Kombu dried kelp (2" or 3" square x 2)

*1 cup bonito flakes

Put 4 cups of water and Kombu in a pan, leave for 30 mins or more, and heat over low heat. (By soaking in water for 30 mins beforehand, it's easier to extract umami of Kombu).

  1. Take Kombu out just before boiling. *When you see the small bubbles come up, take out the kombu. If the kombu is brought to a boil, the slimy element of the kombu will melt out, so taking out the Kombu before boiling is the key.

  2. Boil over high heat and then turn it off. *Once the Kombu is out, bring it to a boil, turn off the heat.

  3. Add bonio flakes and leave for 3 minutes. *Bonito flakes fall to the bottom of the pot naturally and wait for 3 minutes.

  4. Slowly pour into a strainer with kitchen paper. *Place kitchen paper on a strainer and strain the Dashi slowly.

Now you got traditional Awase-Dashi!


Dried Shiitake and Kombu Dashi

Prep time : 5 mins (Total time 8hrs)

"Prep time : 5 mins"?? Seriously, whaaat ??? Yes, 5 mins to prep (or even 2 mins !) and you have to wait 8 hrs or over-night. This vegan Dashi recipe is easier than Awase-Dashi which contains bonito flakes.


*2 or 3 dried Shiitake mushroom

*2 or 3 Kombu dried kelp (2" square x 2)

*2 cup of water

  1. Put in a jar : Put shiitake and kombu in a glass jar, and pour water.

  2. Keep in the fridge : Leave the jar in the fridge for more than 6hrs.

  3. Take out ingredients : When it turns golden brown color, take out the Shiitake and Kombu.

Don't throw away revived Shiitake-mushroom !

Make them tiny sliced and add in Miso soup as an ingredient.

About revived Kombu, there is the way to re-cook and eat. I'll def' introduce how to another time.

Easy peasy, non waste recipeasy :)


Life is short, I need a good hack!

For busy people or who want a more convenient way (I'm a Japanese mom and I use this shortcut often!), this is the most convenient method which produces pretty flavorful soup stock. One drawback is that these Dashi packets might be hard to find in Asian grocery stores. Your local Japanese grocery stores should carry one or several brands.

This Dashi packet is Japan’s most popular Kayanoya Dashi Packet (MSG-free & additive-free). Kayanoya has the vegan Dashi Packet too ! You may also find Yamaki Dashi Packet in Japanese grocery stores (or check at amazon).


Now, we all got the golden umami-bomb liquid - Dashi !!

And we are so close to having homemade Miso soup (I promise it's simple and easy more than you think), see you at the latter part of MISO SOUP 101.


January, 26, 2023



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